Have you ever noticed all the shaker bottles that bodybuilders carry around with them? There’s a chance it’s filled with some form of pre-workout or protein powder to keep them energized and crushing their workouts.
Maybe you aren’t going to the gym seven days a week or doing double sessions. However, after a long day plugged into your computer or stuck in energy-zapping meetings you find yourself also craving an extra boost.
You might be wondering, is it necessary or just a placebo effect? Surprise, your goals and performance are just as important!
Are Pre Workouts Only for Bodybuilders?
Many advertisements don’t feature someone leaving their 9-5 heading to the gym or dropping their kids off at school and scooping pre-workout.
So, it’s not surprising if you’ve been led to believe that pre-workout is only for bodybuilders.
Pre-workouts and supplements have been designed for many individuals with similar goals in mind whether it’s to improve performance, take their health to the next level, or weight loss.
Who Else Can Benefit from a Pre Workout?
Those that can benefit the most from a pre-workout are often working out at a higher intensity or trying to ramp up what they are currently doing.
It can also provide that boost you need to get out the door and head to the gym. There’s no shame in an extra push after a long day.
Whether you are a gym-goer, bodybuilder, ultra runner, or elite athlete you may benefit from taking a pre-workout.
Are Pre Workouts Safe?
Many pre-workouts contain various ingredients, two very common ingredients are caffeine and nitric oxide. If you are sensitive to caffeine, this is definitely something to be aware of(1).
If you are concerned about an increase in blood pressure, or heart rate, or have any medical conditions it’s best to reach out to your doctor before starting a new supplement.
Just like any product you are considering, it’s important to look at the ingredient label and the testing that is done for the company.
If you are an athlete, this is something you’ll need to be very cautious of as some products may contain banned substances that aren’t listed as they aren’t regulated(1).
What is a Clean Pre Workout?
A clean pre-workout is going to be a product that provides only what you need to get that extra rep in at the gym or get you off the couch.
This means that there aren’t artificial sweeteners, added sugars, banned substances, or any hidden ingredients that could negatively affect you.
It’s important to look for a company that has a third-party lab to review its products. Some may even have certifications like NSF certified or Informed-Choice Trusted by Sport certification.
This shows that the companies are truly about transparency and providing quality products to their customers.
What Ingredients to Avoid in a Pre-Workout?
You’ll want to avoid any pre-workouts that have ingredients you aren’t familiar with or comfortable with.
If you are new to the supplement or fitness space, ask an expert and do your research. You deserve to have a pre-workout that’s going to provide you with the right benefits.
Be cautious of any pre-workouts that aren’t clear about added sugars, additives, or fillers that are included in their products.
If you have a sensitive stomach, artificial sweeteners could also cause issues in the middle of your workout.
What Ingredients to Look For?
Caffeine is one of the ingredients that can provide an improvement in performance, regardless if you are lifting weights, going for a long run, or doing power training(1).
You may feel really good after 60 minutes, as this is when caffeine typically reaches its peak!
Beta-alanine can help you finish out that last rep by increasing your training volume at the gym. Are you training in intervals? Beta-alanine can also benefit those high-intensity exercises that last for 60 seconds or longer(3).
Creatine has been shown to be one of the safest and most effective supplements for active individuals. It’s important in a pre-workout as it can help you ramp up your exercise intensity and positively impact your body composition(2).
Finding a product that has a blend of these in amounts that are safe and effective is key. If you are looking for a new clean pre-workout supplement, consider ones like Naked Energy from Naked Nutrition which provides everything you need and nothing that you don’t.
How Can a Pre-Workout Benefit You in the Gym?
A pre-workout can benefit you at the gym in many ways that we shared above. It can help improve your performance, body composition, and recovery.
It’s also worth mentioning that once you take a scoop, you certainly won’t be sitting on your couch any longer.
For some, it’s about hitting another rep, running an extra mile, gaining muscle, and finishing that minute during your HIIT session.
For others, it’s about getting out the front door and showing up for yourself. It may even be about building the confidence to try something new or take your fitness to the next level.
Regardless, make sure you grab a high-quality and clean pre-workout for your next session at the gym.